Our View: Las Patronas represents La Jolla well

Every August, La Jollans turn out for the Las Patronas Jewel Ball, which was held on Saturday. It’s a sign of summer and a great representation of the good work that all of La Jolla’s charities do for our community and other parts of San Diego County.

This 65th anniversary event goes a long way toward helping the organization raise the money it needs to fulfill grant requests, which this year totaled 180 applications for $3.8 million. (Since 1946, La Patronas has contributed about $15 million to nearly 1,000 San Diego institutions, according to its website.)

The event draws a crowd of more than 650 to the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, where the organization started in 1946. The Jewel Ball is a year-long effort put on by club members who work until the last minute before the party starts to create a sparkling event.

The reach of Las Patronas’ charity is great — from health and education to social services and the arts. So far this year the list has included “minor” beneficiaries who receive up to $20,000 like the Coggan Family Aquatic Complex, Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, La Jolla YMCA, Mama’s Kitchen, Scripps Research Institute and the UCSD Medical Center Bannister Family House, and Women’s Museum of California.

Then there are “major” beneficiaries who are awarded more than $20,000 like Arc of San Diego, Friends of The Riford Center, La Jolla Playhouse, REINS Therapeutic Horsemanship Program, San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation, San Diego Food Bank, San Diego Junior Theatre and the UCSD Shiley Eye Center.

To the members of Las Patronas — and the myriad other groups whose members are just as dedicated to a variety of causes — we say thank you for all you do to make San Diego County a better place for all of us.

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